Juni 9, 2023
Telegram hacks - folders

Telegram hacks

Unless you’re a boomer, you’re probably familiar with Telegram. Thanks to its adorable sticker packs and user-friendly features, it’s undoubtedly become one of the most popular messaging apps amongst Gen-Zs and millennials in Singapore. 

Those who use it on the daily would know how to work its basic features, such as deleting messages, downloading sticker packs, or sending GIFS. But if you’re looking to up your Tele game with folders, silent messages, locked chats and more, here are the best Telegram hacks to try out.

While you’re at it, follow these useful Telegram channels.

1. Separate your work and personal chats with folders

Since Telegram’s become such a mainstream form of communication, you might find yourself juggling both work and personal chats on the app. If you want to better separate your personal and professional life, or simply declutter your app, you’ll find Telegram’s folder function useful. 

You’ll be able to name your folders whatever you want, so get creative with it. Besides a work and personal folder, other ideas include an “unread” folder for old and spammy group chats, a “close friends” folder for your besties, and a “channels” folder to dump all your subscribed channels into. 

Here’s how to create folders: 

Telegram hacks - folders
Image adapted from: Brendan Yee

Step 1: Go to settings > chat folders > create new folder
Step 2: Apple users can also directly edit folders by tapping and holding the chat icon at the bottom of the screen

2. Schedule messages ahead of time

If you’ve got a friend’s birthday coming up and you want to be the first to wish them, this hack will ensure your message reaches them on the dot at midnight.

Telegram hacks - schedule messages
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Instead of setting an alarm to remind yourself to send a message, simply draft it ahead of time and schedule a timing for it to be sent. This is also super helpful if you need to send out messages at odd hours to someone in a different time zone. 

Step 1: Draft your message
Step 2: Click and hold the send button
Step 3: Select “schedule message” and select a date and time  

3. Set easy reminders in “saved messages”

The “saved messages” folder is actually really useful. Most of us already use it as a dumping ground to send ourselves pictures, messages, or files for personal safekeeping. However, what we aren’t aware of is that we can even use it as a little alarm of sorts. Here’s how to do so: 

Telegram hacks - reminders
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Step 1: Draft your reminder
Step 2: Tap and hold the send button
Step 3: Select “set reminder”, and choose your date and time.

4. Send silent messages so you won’t disturb your friend

Receiving tons of message notifs can be really annoying, especially when you’re busy studying or working. If you’ve got a stressed-out pal you don’t want to alarm with too many message alerts, you can still send them messages without all the disturbance. 

All you’ll have to do is utilise the silent messages function – your message will send out normally and in real time, but it won’t reach them with a buzz or sound alert. Here’s how to send silent messages: 

Telegram hacks - silent messages
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Step 1: Draft your message
Step 2: Tap and hold the send button
Step 3: Select “send without sound”

5. Send embarrassing pics in self-destruct mode

Disappearing pics are a familiar function to Snapchat users, but we bet you didn’t know you could send them on Telegram too. If you’re the type to send unglam selfies to your friends just for the LOLs, this feature is going to be a game-changer for you.

If you’ve got pictures you want to share, but don’t want your friends to save in their phones, self-destruct mode will ensure your messages get sent and deleted as you please. Telegram even sends out a notification if a screenshot is taken, so you won’t need to worry about snitches. Here’s how to send a self-destructing picture: 

Telegram hacks - disappearing picture
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Step 1: Take a photo to send
Step 2: Tap and hold the send button
Step 3: Select “send with timer”, and choose a duration

6. Stop getting added into spam chat groups

Lately, it seems like spam chats are becoming more and more prevalent. This Telegram plague has caught up to the best of us – we open the app and see that we’ve randomly been added to a 50-person chat group with a shady group name. 

It’s annoying to have to keep exiting and deleting these groups, but there’s a way to prevent yourself from ever being added into another one again. Here’s how: 

Telegram hacks - privacy settings
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Step 1: Go to settings > Privacy & Security > Groups
Step 2: Under “who can add me”, select “my contacts”

7. Never be caught with paiseh messages again

 This hack is even more powerful than Gmail’s “undo send” that lets you retract emails 30 seconds after you’ve pressed send with the slip of a hand. On Telegram, you can unsend messages regardless of how long ago they were sent.

Trust me, you’re not the only one who’s had a mini cardiac arrest after accidentally sending your mum an inappropriate message. As long as the other party hasn’t read it yet, you’re not quite dead yet.

Telegram hacks - delete messages
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

Step 1: Tap and hold the message, and select ‘delete for me and ____’
Step 2: Your message will be deleted from both yours and their chat.

8. Hide your ‘last seen’ status from selected contacts

When the “last seen” function was first created, I remember my friends being equal parts elated and agonized. On one hand, you could finally see when a friend was last online, and find out if he was just asleep, or simply ignoring you. On the other hand, other people could do the same to you. 

Telegram has finally done it. No more switching apps to pretend you haven’t read the message yet. The best part about this function is that it does not disable your ‘last seen’ entirely, but only for the contacts you select.

Last Seen Telegram

Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy & Security
Step 2: Click ‘Last Seen’ and select an option under ‘Who Can See My Timestamp’
Step 3: To disable last seen from specific contacts, click ‘Never Share With’ and select contacts

Now, you can tell your friend/teacher/boss that you completely missed the message, and they’d never find out.

9. Set a Telegram passcode to keep kaypoh people away

Remember those spot checks you used to get from your mum when you were 15? Yeah, if this function had existed then, you probably wouldn’t have been grounded so often. 

Telegram’s passcode function assures chat security and privacy, preventing kaypoh friends (and mums) from scrolling through your chats. In order to lock your chats, set an app passcode following these steps:

Password Telegram

Password Telegram 1

Step 1: Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Passcode Lock > Turn Passcode On
Step 2: Apple users have the option of Touch ID

10. Watch YouTube/Vimeo videos and chat at the same time

We’re all guilty of telling our friends who excitedly send us video links, “Yeah I’ll watch it later”, and never actually getting around to watching it. The app-toggling frustration is real, especially if you have an affinity for multi-tasking. Telegram allows you to watch videos and chat at the same time, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing just to watch a potentially lame video. 

Here’s how you do it:

Video Telegram

Step 1: Click on the thumbnail of the video link
Step 2: Select the ‘fullscreen’ icon to watch in fullscreen within the app itself
Step 3: If you want to chat at the same time, click the ‘picture-in-picture’ icon  

11. Edit your “I don’t give a duck” sass after accidentally sending it

If you claim to never have typed “I don’t give a duck” in a flurry of furious text messages, and subsequently feel like a complete idiot, you are clearly lying. 

This function not only prevents you from coming across as a total dingbat, but also saves you the trouble of sending another message (with an asterisk) correcting yourself, which really just makes the whole situation even funnier.

Edit Message Telegram

Step 1: Simply tap and hold your wrongly spelled message and select ‘edit’, and correct it after it’s sent.

12. Create supergroups of up to 200,000 members

Telegram hacks - supergroupImage credit: Gwyn Lim

We used to think a group limit of 100 was a lot. Well, Telegram’s group capacity has now expanded to 200,000 people. Don’t feel sad though, nobody really expects you to have 200,000 friends to make a group with.

This function is more useful for corporate use, for instance, to create a group for the entire office. Unless you’re just really really popular then well, good for you.

Step 1: Click new message icon
Step 2: Select ‘New Group’
Step 3: Add up to 200,000 contacts to create a supergroup

13. Add people to groups via group links

Let’s say you’re hosting a party for your work mates, open to whoever can make it. Ditch the burden of waiting for an RSVP and just send out a group link for whoever that wants to join. Then they can’t say bojio and blame you for forgetting to add them in. Telegram allows you to add people to a group just by a click – so it’s their problem to add themselves, no longer yours!

Group link
Image credit: Telegram

Group link 1
Image credit: Telegram

You can also send the invite link to those using WhatsApp and they will be directed to the Telegram app automatically if they have it installed. It’s time to revolutionise Telegram, folks.

14. Pin outing details in group chats for blur sotong friends

Telegram hacks - pinned messages
You can pin messages at the top of your group chat.
Image credit: Gwyn Lim

When it comes to group outings, there’s usually one sotong who’s blur about the details of the meetup. But never again will this person get lost in the flood of messages when details can be pinned on Telegram.

In addition, if there’s an address you’re getting to, don’t have to scroll all the way up once you get into the cab.

If you’re that irritating 256-unread-chats friend who ‘single-ticks’ literally every message and later forgets to reply, you can also pin up chats by swiping left and selecting ‘Pin’.

Telegram Pin 1

15. Join a channel to get your daily dose of whatever

Just like Twitter, on Telegram, you can join channels to get daily updates/messages about almost anything and everything.

A channel is like a community of people sharing the same interests, except, you cannot chat with one another via the channel, only read the incoming feed. Whether it’s daily bible verses, or motivational quotes, or even the latest sticker packs, keep yourself updated by joining a channel.

Telegram Channel

Step 1: To join a channel, simply type in @tchannelsbot into the search bar. This robot will help you discover the best channels available on Telegram.
Step 2: You can even create a new channel by selecting the ‘New Message’ icon, and clicking ‘New Channel.

16. Edit your photos Snapchat-style before sending them

Snapchat’s innovative photo editing function has now been adopted by Telegram, where you can add stickers to your photos before sending them, all within the app. Besides stickers, there are also masks with which you can play around with, that detect your facial features on the photo. Simply follow these steps:

Telegram Filter Snapchat

Step 1: Attach/take a photo in the Telegram app
Step 2: Click the sticker icon
Step 3: Select preferred mask and it will detect the facial features and auto-align it

17. Create unglam GIFs of your friends to annoy them

Some feelings are best conveyed through a GIF

Image credit: Giphy

A sticker says a thousand words, but a GIF says a million. Animate your conversations even more by creating your own GIFs while chatting. If you ever get bored of the same old emojis and stickers, you know what to do.

Create GIF Telegram

Step 1: Take a video using the Telegram app
Step 2: Click the mute button
Step 3: Video will be sent as auto-looped GIF

Unfortunately, GIFs created this way don’t seem like they’re able to be saved as a .GIF, but as a silent video instead. So if you ever want to post the GIF elsewhere, sadly, you will not be able to as it is out of Telegram and will be saved as a video instead of a GIF.

18. Play Cards Against Humanity or Werewolf with friends

Those of us who lack proper hand-eye coordination for action games like Super Mario Run, will take to Telegram’s bot-controlled gaming platform. Whether you’re feeling lonely or simply enjoy gaming, Telegram will keep you company with a variety of games you can pick from, the most popular ones being:

Telegram hacks - emoji games
Image adapted from: Gwyn Lim

*Emoji games – send the basketball, soccer, darts, dice or slot machine emojis to test your luck
* Cards Against Humanity
* Poker
* Blackjack
* Hang-Man
* Sudoku
* Werewolf

Sticker Bot Telegram

Step 1: Type [name of game] in the search bar
Step 2: Send the message /start to the bot
Step 3: Add the bot into a Telegram group with your friends
Step 4: Follow instructions given by the bot, on how to proceed with game
You can also find other Telegram games here

19. Start a secret chat for next level privacy

No matter how close you think you are, bitching about your boss to a colleague is never a foolproof idea, as you never know when they might just screenshot your conversation for use against you in order to score some brownie points. 

With Telegram’s secret chat feature which allows you to place a self-destruct timer of your preferred time period, you can send anything without worrying about it being used against you. If the other party screenshots your conversation, you will get a notification. Beware, however, of what you send, as they can always use another camera to capture your conversation. 

Secret Chat Telegram

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Click new message icon at top right hand corner
Step 2: Select ‘New Secret Chat’
Step 3: Choose contact
Step 4: Click the timer icon on the message input bar
Step 5: Choose how long you want your ‘Self Destruct Timer’ to last for

20. Create a custom sticker pack to troll your friends

BB Sticker Pack Telegram

Sometimes our feelings are best conveyed in sticker-speak. Whether its “BB hungry BB need food” or “BB want but BB never tell”  – the best stickers are those you can make on your own.

TSL Sticker Pack Telegram

Step 1: Type @stickers in the search bar
Step 2: Send the message /newpack to the bot
Step 3: Send a message of what you want the sticker pack to be named
Step 4: Upload the image you want to convert into a sticker
Step 5: The image file should be in PNG format with a transparent layer and must fit into a 512×512 square (one of the sides must be 512px and the other 512px or less).

Before sending stickers to the bot though, you have to make sure your pictures are correctly configured. Here’s how:

* Send the photo to yourself via Telegram, so you can access it from Telegram Desktop.
* Save image and open in Preview, for Mac users, or any other photo editing app
* Using the markup tool, pick the smart lasso option and trace the photo accordingly and crop
* Go to www.garyshood.com to resize and convert image to 512×512 in PNG format
* Send to the @stickers bot as a file NOT a photo

Here’s a tip: It’s a lot easier to create a sticker pack on Telegram Desktop because of the photo specifications and uploading process. We’ve had a lot of fun using our own TSL food stickers on the company chat!

21. Chat with Emma Stone

If you’re ever caught in an emergency situation and don’t have someone’s number, just chill. Telegram uses both username and mobile number for chats, which means that you can chat with someone even if you don’t have their number. All you need is their username.

Emma Stone Chat Telegram

Go onto the search bar and type in their username to strike up a conversation. Yes, this also means you can directly message celebrities – or their bots – who have Telegram; whether they reply or not is an entirely separate matter. 

Telegram – The Superior Messaging App

Telegram-WhatsApp Meme

Image credit: Meme Generator

Try out these hacks and never be (virtually) inefficient again. In other words, don’t be a noob. If you can’t get your life together, at least try to sort your virtual one out. So next time you see your friends unnecessarily toggling between apps to watch videos or sending the same few emojis on WhatsApp, you know what to do. 

Check out more hacks: 

Cover image adapted from: Gwyn Lim
Originally published on 3rd February 2017. Last updated by Gwyn Lim on 14th September 2022.

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